Dunn The Sexual Revolution

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The era of the Sexual Revolution was a watershed moment in Western culture. It brought about widespread change in the sexual behaviors of people. With the advent contraception, public nudity, and premarital sex, the West quickly became a more promiscuous environment. Dunn’s poem “The Sexual Revolution,” can be considered as a sort of social commentary without any particularly persuading rhetoric. While no attempt is made at an appeal to pathos, ethos, or logos, and no opinion of the events is immediately evident, Dunn nonetheless comments and reflects on the issue of licentiousness that dominated the era. He takes note of exactly how the people and landscape of America (and Western Europe) were changed as a result of the inundation of neo-Freudianism and Freudo-Marxism.…show more content…
His choice of words is a tactful and strategic blend of the silver-tongued magniloquence one would be right to expect from a Pulitzer Prize-winning poet, and the straightforward vernacular that one would be accustomed to in everyday life. Dunn would be blunt with sentences like: “The air became alive / with incense and license” (Dunn 19-20). Leaving nothing to the imagination, Dunn’s terse choice of words tells us exactly what is happening. He tells us exactly, with very few words, how the very air of the time had a risqué charge to it. At the same time, though, Dunn says things such as “But many must have been slow-witted / during The Age of Enlightenment, / led artless lives during The Golden Age” (Dunn 13-15). In sentences like these, Dunn is more formal, with an inexact feeling to his words. It is possible to infer, from the context of the poem, that the spoken of “Age of Enlightenment” and “Golden Age” might be the Sexual Revolution itself, and then it becomes clear that Dunn is talking about the reluctance, and sometimes even scorn, of many to partake in the rather sensual cultural

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